The government’s pay offer for teachers so far is paltry (Teachers’ unions warn against strikes in England despite reports of improved pay offer, 1 July). What makes it even more insulting is the news that Gavin Williamson, education secretary during the lockdowns, is set to earn £50,000 a year for a second part-time job advising a business of education chaired by a conservative donor, who himself gave large sums to the party (Minutes, June 29).
The teachers could not have done more; Williamson could hardly have done less. Advice from the Department for Education regularly arrived just in time to spoil holidays and weekends, laptops for digitally poor students were delivered so slowly that some were still waiting a year later. God knows there is enough micromanagement of teachers, so surely there could have been nudges from vendors and officials to get the resources in time.
But it’s not just the lack of recognition of the services teachers have rendered to children that has piled up crippling overtime for their workload. It’s the impact of decades of wage freezes that have taken some teachers from the peak of Houghton pay in the 1970s to food banks in 2022.
Ryde, Isle of Wight
By securing a job paying £625 an hour, Gavin Williamson is a beacon of hope for many who are struggling to manage in these times of inflation. Maybe he could tell us where this “job” was advertised so we can keep our eyes peeled for other opportunities?